tv Capital News Today CSPAN September 3, 2010 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
the cook political report rates this race as a tossup. this is about one hour. ♪ >> good evening, and think you for joining us. >> tonight's debate is brought to you by impact nevada, a partnership between several news organizations. we are joined by the andre agassi foundation. >> both rory reid and brian sandoval plan to improve education in nevada. >> the venue for the exciting debate is the andre agassi college preparatory academy. here is the man behind it all, a man who cares about education, andre agassi.
[applause] >> thank you. good evening and welcome to the andre agassi college preparatory academy. i want to thank both of candidates for accepting our invitation to come here tonight and share their thoughts on one of the most vital issues we face today in our state -- education. as you know, we built this school because we believe that nothing has the power to change a child's life like quality education. without an education, a child cannot hope, cannot dream. without a quality education system, a state cannot compete. the next governor of nevada will long be remembered for the effect he has had on education. like the rest of america, and that is struggling economically. a huge portion of our state budget, nearly half, goes to education. the next governor will be called
upon to make some excruciating decisions. there will be asked how much are we spending on education. should we spend more? are we spending enough? are we spending it wisely? what is being done to ensure accountability? by the time we leave tonight, i expect we will have a clear idea of how each man will answer those questions. one of the things that makes me proud is the respect we demand of our kids. i hope the dialogue can be meaningful and constructive. best of luck to both candidates. [applause] >> thank you.
well said. >> want to review the rules for the debate, which the candidates have already agreed to. >> each will get two minutes for an opening statement and two minutes at the end for summary. >> we will ask questions and will have taped questions from the community. the questions will be asked alternately to each candidate. they will have two minutes to answer. their opponent will have one minute to respond, after which the first candidate will be allowed a one-minute rebuttal. >> we may ask follow-up questions for each candidate. there will each have one minute to respond. time limits will be strictly enforced by our timekeeper. >> in the interest of allowing as much time as possible to be heard, we ask the audience -- and we have a full house -- to hold all applause until the end of the debate. no outbursts. and turn off yourself phones so we can hear the closing remarks. >> by coin toss, rory reid will
go first with his opening statement. >> it is great to be here tonight to talk about education. everyone in this hall and everyone watching this debate at home is angry or anxious. you have a right to be. your schools are failing our children. your government has let this economy crash at your feet. we need a strong leader to get through this mess. brian sandoval is a nice man, but he is a weak leader. he says he stands for education, but his budget proposal would cost our schools. his plan would lead to the termination of teachers, and explosion of class size, and his budget proposal would subsidize the private education of a handful of students. i will not cut education. you can count on it. my budget proposal funds our
schools and make sure you will have teachers in your classrooms. our schools are in crisis. we are going to talk about that. we need a strong and decisive leader on this. on education, brian is not strong and is not consistent. he even supports sharron angle, who would abolish the department of education. i have been strong, consistent, and honest in everything i have ever done. i have been aniks -- a successful business executive. i have balanced the clark county budget every year without raising taxes. i have created jobs at a time when you needed them the most. i have made the tough decisions when they have needed to be made. strength and consistency is what nevada needs in in some next governor. that is the kind of governor i will be for you. i want to thank the preparatory academy for hosting this debate. >> mr. sandoval, your opening
statement. >> it is truly a pleasure and honor to be here. i would like to think channel, and mr. agassi and his foundation. there is one thing my opponent and i agree on. education is incredibly important. i would like to introduce myself. i grew up in this state. i was educated in this state. i had an opportunity to serve you in the nevada legislature. i was the chief gaming regulators in the state of nevada. i served as your attorney general. i also served as a federal judge. i get asked all the time -- why would i give up a lifetime of women to run for governor? the answer is simple. i care deeply about the state. i have a unique opportunity to serve this state and leave the security of that apartment to try to improve what we have here. education is extremely important
to me. tomorrow morning, i am going to take my six-year-old daughter to first grade. it is a big day for her. our education system is in peril. we need to do something tough. we need to challenge the system. we need to shake up the status quo. that is why i delivered a plan -- a specific plan that will shake up the status quo. it calls for accountability in education. it calls for choice -- to give every parent an opportunity to decide where they are going to send their kid. it calls for local control. it calls for the end of teacher tenure. it calls for the end of social promotion of our children. we cannot wait any longer. i am not going to wait five years. there are thousands of children in our educational system. we have to do something now. my plan will do that. thank you for the opportunity to be here.
>> we are going to ask questions of each candidate specifically. this first question we have is for both men. >> we begin with mr. reid. considering the state faces a $3 billion shortfall, how can you improve education at a time when every budget at the state level will be cut? >> the budget is more than lines on a piece of paper. it is a statement of our priorities. that is why i offered a balanced budget proposal that balance the budget and protected education. i do not cut 1 cent from education funding. it is also why i worked with my wife cindy, my favorite teacher, on an education plan. we worked for 10 months on our plan. we talked to parents, principals, teachers, administrators, and education experts. it does not matter what you call a school. it can be a charter school like this one.
it can be a magnet school, a technical school, a public school. it does not matter. the hallmark of a successful school is a principal who can lead, teachers who can be creative and do what the child in front of them needs, and parents that are engaged. what we need in nevada is the plan that will allow every school to be innovative and do the kind of things to see done here. our plan will do that. it will also cut administrative costs by taking the power away from bureaucrats and giving it to the people that should have it -- principals, teachers, and parents at the local level, with local control. i do not cut a nickel from the budget to get there. i am the only person on this stage that can say that. brian, i think there is something we need to clear up. i have been pointing out over the last several weeks that your budget proposal would cut more from education that jim gibbons
ever did. he cut $300 million. your plan would cut $533 million. you say i am lying. here are the numbers. $533 million. if this is not the right number, how much are you going to cut? >> no response. >> we have a budget struggle. i read your plan. you do not know your own budget. it seeks to cut education as well. you have included a decrease in funding for the entire state, which includes education. 70% of our state's payroll is education. as part of your own proposal, it includes a dramatic cut to education. we all have to realize our state has challenges. i have visited schools throughout the state. i visited with businesses. we leave the country in unemployment. we leave the country in foreclosures.
there has to be a shared sacrifice. i have said that my opponent has misled all of you with regards to my education plan. it seeks reduction in salary for state employees across the state. nowhere in my plan does it call for the layoff of a single teacher. >> you have a minute to rebut if you care to. >> i would love to. brian was kind enough not to use the word layoff in his plan. he talks in terms of personnel costs and salary reductions. the fact is that his plan would lead to teachers being fired. it also is true that brian cannot do what he says he would do. as a former attorney general and as an attorney, he should know he cannot reduce teacher salaries unless they agree to it. bryant also fails to address that his plan would divert $110 million of money that is scheduled to reduce class size
for seven and a year olds and divert that money to the general fund. there is another plan he did not mention. i do not think to answer the question. your plan will cut education. there is not any doubt about that. i say it is that much. what do you say? >> we have not asked to the question yet. here is -- hear it is again. considering the state faces a $3 billion shortfall, how can you improve education at a time when every budget at the state level is being cut backs >> that is a hallmark of my plan is to change the delivery of education systemically. one thing i have not discussed is merit pay. my plan calls for merit pay to reward good teachers, to reward good schools. i am proud of the fact that my plan calls for choice. i think every parent in the state should have the ability to decide whether children are
going to attend a school. my plan calls for the end of teacher tenure. we all know that teachers are wonderful, but we have to give them the ability to deliver a proper and quality education, and we need to reward the good teachers, and the teachers who are struggling need to receive assistance. if there are teachers that should not be in the classroom, perhaps there needs to be a change. my plan does not call for the layoff of teachers. again, i would like to hear from you. your most recent budget plan calls for a reduction in spending approximately $200 million to education. >> brian, i do not know where your getting your numbers. that is not true. i would continue the furlough, but that would not impact education. what we need to do is focus on what is important. let me tell you about the principle of green valley high school. my daughter went to green valley high school. go gators. my son is about to start there.
cindy and i talked to jeff about what he thought needed to be done to make it possible for every school in nevada to innovate. i think the best example is that of the $600 allocated for each student in nevada, the principle has discretion over only $100. 100 of the $6,000. we need to give principals more discretion at the community level so that every school can improve. that is what my plan would do. bryan's plan allows only certain schools to move forward and improve. my plan gives every school the ability to innovate. that is the main difference between our plans. >> do you wish to but? >> i do. i have read my opponent's plan. it is good. it uses powers we already have.
it uses in vision, a program that is going to be used in the very near future. i had the opportunity to visit with all 17 school superintendents. the point i think we need to make is as far as it goes it is fine. but we need to go further. we need to break the mold. we cannot wait the five years called for in my opponent's plan to change the system. by that time, thousands of children will have gone through. my first grader will be a sixth grader. my plan will allow for change immediately. it will call for immediate merit pay for teachers to reward the good teachers. it will call for the end in social promotion, a child gets to grade three without being able to read. it will give principals throughout the state the ability to have local control of their schools. >> we understand it will be hard to divorce the budget issue from the education issue, but we would like to continue with
another question. the school district has looked into privatizing school lunches and transportation and from the could not save the money. what evidence do you have there are cost-saving measures to be achieved through streamlining or privatization? >> i think we need to make sure we understand what we are talking about when we talk about privatization. when cindy and i were working on our plan, we met with everybody who would talk to us about education. i never forget the meeting i had but the bus driver. that bus driver passionately described his job and how much he loved it. he told me about how he had a roll of quarters in his pocket every day to make sure that every child that for got their lunch money are needed to go home had the ability to do that. he cared about his job more than anybody i have ever met. when we talk about privatization, we need to make sure we have qualified people in positions to do the jobs that need to be done.
transportation is a very important function in education. parents trust the school district to take their children, deliver them to school, and return them safely. we need to use the highest standards -- background checks and whatever else is necessary -- to make sure our children are safe. brian talks about privatization. the superintendent criticized it because he did not believe it would save the money he claimed it would save. i think we need to be really careful when we talk about privatization and make sure that if we are going to do it that people are trained and able to do those important jobs that need to be done. the other thing that i think needs to be pointed out about brian's plan is that he says it will be funded by a tax -- $300 million of tax. the problem is that the state
budget director says there is only $95 million in that fund. $533 million and our short another $205 million as i do the math. we both went to law school, but i think my math is pretty good. >> i am not going to question your mouth. this is not a math test. it is about education. the question was about privatization. i think what is important to know is that there is that old definition of insanity. if we continue to do this -- do things the same way, we cannot expect different results. i think everything has to be on the table. we need to break the status quo. i have tremendous respect for the superintendent and i'll understand that some of my ideas are going to be criticized because there are different. but they are going to be innovative. i think there are folks out there that should have the ability to bid to see if they can do it more efficiently, if
they can do it cheaper, and use that savings so that money can go to the classroom. we need to break the mold. >> your rebuttal if you care to? next question. this one goes to mr. sandoval. how does giving principals control over the budget stretch education dollars and lead to improved results? >> one of the things i have done during the course of this campaign is i have visited schools here in clark county, douglas county, lyon county, and churchill county. i have met with individual principals. they would like to have the freedom and have the ability to decide how best to spend their dollars. right now, they may be locked in for textbooks and supplies. the can only spend a certain amount of money. my education plan would use block grants. it would provide money to the district and principles so they can decide how best to deliver education at their schools.
a school in north las vegas has different needs than one in henderson, then one in sparks. i think it is extremely important, that's each of the county's has the ability and the autonomy to build the best possible education for the kids in their district. >> your response? >> we need more people like [unintelligible] i was at an elementary school for several hours. i have never met another person with as much energy as katie, the principal there. by the force of her personality, she brought teachers together. she brought parents together. they transformed that school. we need to empower principles like katie dent. that is the hallmark of my plan. it is about giving every school the opportunity to innovate. as i said before, bryan's plan would give certain schools additional funding and certain schools and the right to innovate. i think we need to give the
ability to every school. brian talks about block grants and the money that would be used in his program. after his cuts, the money we have talked about that would lead to the firing of teachers -- after he has done away with class size reduction money and funds at least $100 million away from public education, how are you going to pay for it? >> i give my opponent credit for one thing. he is consistently inaccurate. i would challenge you to look in my plan anywhere. it does not call for the layoff of any teachers. i ask my opponent to look at his own budget. he conceded he is going to roll over the furlough. that affects education to the tune of $200 million. there is a lot of opportunity here for schools across the state. i think the plan allows for that. it gives those principles, the school district, the
superintendent's the ability to make the decisions that are best for their schools. all the different schools are going to be different. we have to address the minority population. we have to address the at-risk populations. my plan would give those principals and superintendents the ability to do that. >> i have a follow up. both of you say you want to foster autonomy in the schools and a great examples, but i do not see how it leads to improved results. >> i am happy to respond to that question. i think it will lead to good results because the principals will have the ability, when the have a block grant of money, to decide maybe i need more math teachers. maybe i need more science teachers. maybe i need more teachers to address the folks that do not speak english. there are over 100 different languages in clark county. maybe we need to invest more money in technology. all of those things.
maybe i need smaller class sizes in fifth or sixth grade. it gives the principals -- it gives the teachers -- it gives the superintendent the ability to make the decisions and customize and education for their particular kid. >> you have a minute to respond. >> let me explain what is going on. brian released a budget plan early in the year. i put up my education plan. he released his education plan, i believe to inoculate himself from my criticisms of his budget proposal. his education plan reads like a hallmark card. it sounds nice, but there is not much substance. he cannot do the things he is saying he is going to do because of his budget plan. take one aspect of it. you take development proposals. that is at least $100 million that will not be available to schools and the public education system because brian made the wrong choice. he has chosen to subsidize the
private education of a handful of students. 96% of the students in nevada go to public schools. bryan's plan would help the 4% that do not. i think that is a bad choice and is wrong. >> we move on to our next question. we start with mr. reid. we are the fifth largest school district in the nation. is it time to break up clark county into smaller districts? >> i think we need to change for the power is. we need to take the power away from bureaucrats in carson city and washington, d.c. and give it to principals, teachers, and parents at the local level so that they have the opportunity to determine what their schedules are, what their staffing levels are, and to some degree what their curriculum should be. that is what my plan would give every school the opportunity to do. my plan would transform how to deliver education in nevada.
if at the local level people decide that their school districts are too large and cumbersome, they should make whatever changes they deem appropriate. let me give you an example. i used water bracken elementary school. let me talk about them again. when katie decker and her teachers sat down, they determined they had too many children with reading deficiencies. those children with reading problems were dragging down every other student in the class. they had a great idea. they would hire reading specialists who could run the school and pay attention to the particular kids that had problems. they determined that the best way to fund that was to have their librarian go to part-time status. there was one problem. their plan would have delivered better education. it would have delivered it more cheaply. but there was a regulation that required them to have a full- time library and. somebody somewhere in that community should not be
hamstringing principles teachers and parents who only wish to improve their school. under my plan, they could do what they want to do. if every other school in nevada have the right, which would transform the way we deliver education. you cannot do it under the symbol plan. -- the sandoval plan. >> i think my appointment makes my point. doctors are only 4%. we have people who wait to get into career and technical schools. the way to get into tartar schools. we need innovation. it is important for kids to have choice. it creates competition. a rising tide raises all boats. i am convinced by having birchers, by giving parents choice into what school they can attend -- a fabulous school like this -- i understand you have to get into a lottery to get into this.
it may be the beginning of several more schools like this. that is why i believe troy's is so important. with regard to breaking of the clark county school district, i have asked that question to the experts. it has not been demonstrated to me that it could save money or make the schools better. given that answer, i think it deserved exploration. but i am not sure it is a great idea. brian sandoval's rising tide would only let the ships of children who can afford a private education. my plan calls for open enrollment. every parent in clark county and the other 15 counties in our state could vote with their feet. if the school does not meet the needs of their child, they could go to another school. that is true choice. brian will help a handful of students. he says it is a small amount. if you will supply the 4% of the students he is talking about
times the $6,000 that every child in nevada is allocated every year, that equals $100 million. that is real money. to cut $100 million from public education to subsidize the private education of a few is wrong. you would take money from the school. i think that is a bad choice. >> our next question is from the principal and elementary school. >> i want to know what you are going to do to bring equality into our state and how we can save jobs, especially at schools like mine that are at risk. >> i did not hear the first part of that question. >> she said i want to know what you are going to do to bring equality and structure into our state, and how we can save jobs, especially at schools like whitney that are at risk. >> with regard to bringing
quality instructors, she means teachers. through my plan, the merit portion part of my plan is going to reward the greatest teachers in our state. when a teacher from out of state will see they are going to be rewarded based on what their performance is, increasing the growth of their kids -- there has been a lot of discussion within the media with regard to value added measurements. that was part of our race to the top application. that is something i think is important. a teacher who is out of state is looking to come to a state of nevada. they will see the state has broken the mold. we are going to reward good teachers. it is going to reward good schools. it will reward them for growing their students. that will be extremely important. with regards to saving jobs, that was the point of my plan. it called for a modest reduction in salaries across the board for
all state employees, but the point of that was so we do not have mass layoffs. why would anyone want to lay anybody off when we leave the country in unemployment? in makes no sense. everyone is in this together. we are in a budget crisis. i think my plan is a prudent way to go. >> brian was smart enough not to say layoff in his plan, but he is calling for 20% reductions. teachers would have to agree to it. he is asking them to do something they will not do and is suggesting we do something we should not do. his plan will cut tens of millions of dollars from public education and lead to the termination of, i believe, thousands of teachers. if you do not believe my math, go to sandovalfactcheck.com. i lay out the plan and how to reach the numbers i did. i know sherry. i think what she does is amazing.
she is an example of what we need to do in every school in nevada. she has more homeless children at whitney elementary than any other school in our state. she gets up at 5:00 in the morning to make sure her children have something to eat. she makes sure they have clothes to wear. we need more principles like sherry. that is what we need. >> i think it is important. i am proud of my plan. we are not going to go through this over and over again. the point is that we need to work hard to improve education in the state of nevada. i think we all agree on that. need to break the status quo. we need to be very aggressive. that is what my plan calls for. >> your next question is what yardstick you will use to determine how you will measure whether you're improvements are successful. how will you hold teachers and
principals accountable for the success of students? >> that is very important. my plan would provide freedom. it is an american notion. freedom for principles, educators, and parents so their school can be whatever they want it to be. we also demand responsibility. we need good, new, and tough accountability measures. right now, teachers spend a third of their time preparing children for a test or administering a test. we put a number two pencil in a child's hand and expect them to fill in the right bubble. that is the goal in education in nevada right now. i think that is wrong. here is why. as cindy and i were developing a plan, we heard about the first grade student named sally. sally's teacher handed out an assignment. as he was walking around the room, he noticed that selling was drawing a picture. she was not doing the
assignment. he said, "what are you drawing?" she said, "i am drawing a picture of god." he said, "but nobody knows what god looks like." she said, "they will now." children are creative. we do not need to put a number two pencil in their hand and make sure they fill in the right bubble. not all children respond to vote education. not long ago, i was in college doing a term paper and there was no internet. my son can walk into our family room and have the whole world at his fingertips. we have no idea what the world will be like in 20 or 30 years. we need to ensure that sally and every other child in nevada is creative, so they can deal with the world, whatever it is. my plan allows children to be creative and schools to be
innovative. >> your response? >> i agree. our children deserve the best education possible. your question was how we are going to hold teachers and principals accountable. one of the mysteries for a lot of parents who have children in school is they do not know anything about the teacher that the child is going to be taught by. i think it is important that to my plan it would grade schools. it would tell a parent what type of school. if the school had failed to years in a row, they would have the opportunity to change schools. mike plant accounts for the growth of students. there are 37 different categories that schools are rated on with regard to notre but behind. my plan would allow for a school -- if a school funds in one of those, it is a film school. my plan would look at the whole picture. it would allow parents to know
the quality of the school and the quality of the teacher. >> trance plan reads like a hallmark card. it has nice thoughts in it, but there are no details. if i were grading france plan, i would give it an incomplete. he talks about giving a school and a through an f, but does not provide details about how he would do that. i think the next governor of nevada, if they are going to provide freedom to schools as i outlined, and if we are going to have tough accountability so that teachers and principals do their job, we need to be very specific about the kind of accountability we would ask for. my plan calls for multiple measures of accountability so that we do not rely on standardized tests. our children can be creative. our teachers can be creative. our schools can progress. >> you have said let's be very specific, but none of you have. specifically, how would you set
up and accountability process? would it be an outside agency? who would they be? >> we have a process now. i think it should be both. we need somebody who is independent who can come in and break the schools. there has been a lot of media attention for a method that has not been used before -- value added methods. it is something they are going to use in the l.a. school district. it was part of our race to the top application for federal funding. it would use test scores as a 50% portion of how we will measure teachers and schools. that is an important place to start. >> my plan follows multiple measures so we do not rely on standardized tests. we will still have tests, but i call for using technology so that it takes less time to administer the tests, so that teachers have more time to teach. i also say that in addition to test scores we need to look at graduation rates. we need to look at arts and
culture programs in school might have. we need to provide information. i provide real choice, not the false choice brines plan calls for. if students are going to have open enrollment and be able to vote with their feet and take their child to the school that serves their needs, they will need information about the various schools in our valley. my plan calls for more information to be available. it will measure students and teachers in many different ways and will provide that information to parents and to the public so they can make a true choice about which cool their child could attend. >> thank you. we talk about accountability. how do you plan to get rid of teachers and administrators that are underperforming when you have union contract and state law standing in your way? >> that is one of the hallmarks of my plan is ending teacher tenure. right now, if you are a teacher in the state of nevada, you essentially receive tenure after
one year. my plan would call for the end of that. it goes back to accountability -- rewarding the good teachers. giving teachers who are struggling the ability to improve. if there are those who are not helping children, they need to move along. the way to do that is to end at teacher tenure. i have visited some of the schools. some of the principles do not want to go to the frustration of that process. it is not worth it to them. i think it is important that we back up those folks. it is all about the kids. we need to ensure the most important factor is the teacher in the classroom, regardless of whether you are at a risk school or what part of town you are in. the most important component is a teacher. if there is one that is underperforming, we cannot wait two or three years to make a change. thousands of children have moved through the system. that is what my plan calls for. that is something different than
mr. reid. his plan calls for extending tenure from one year to three years. i think we need to stop it altogether. >> nothing is more frustrating than a bad teacher to a good teacher. most teachers do their job well. they are frustrated by those that do not. i agree with brian. we need to hold teachers accountable. if they are not doing their job, they need to find something else to do. it is that simple. we need true accountability measures. we should demand accountability with freedom. maybe this is the one time we agree tonight. >> what about union contract and state rules? >> i am an advocate for education. i began by talking about strength and consistency. i think that if you have real reform, it bothers everybody a little bit. when i put out my plan, i think
there were people who were surprised by it. i am a democrat. i am talking about teachers losing their jobs if they do not do them well. that is the way it should be. my plan is full of reforms have rubbed everybody in the education community a little bit the wrong way. i am proud of that. my job is to advocate corps reform that will transform education in nevada. if we are going to grow our economy and put our people back to work, we need an education system we all can be proud of. >> this next question is for mr. reid. we talked to a high-school senior. she worries that your plans do not focus on class size. >> the class sizes are large. sometimes it is hard to approach the teacher on your own and get help on a specific situation or problem.
>> how would you handle class sizes that have 45 to 50 students in high schools? >> we need to give more authority to local communities to determine how the money they spend is used at their school. that will allow them to address class size as well. and schedules and to some degree curriculum. i have been consistent about that. i think the inconsistency here is what brian has said. in his budget plan, he says the $110 million that is currently allocated for class size reduction in clark county, money that is used to reduce class size for second and third graders -- he says in his budget plan that that money should be diverted to carson city and put in the general fund. when i began to criticize him, he said something else. in his education plan, he wants
to give that money to local school districts so they can determine how to use it. it sounds strangely similar to what i said in march. i wonder why it was in his education plan when he released it this summer. >> your response? >> classroom size reduction is incredibly important. we have classroom size reduction in first through third grade. i think my plan addresses for concern exactly. my plan calls for local control. therefore, a school district can decide. do we want to use this money to make classroom sizes smaller? she looked like a high-school student. do we want to make them smaller in junior high? we want to do it in fifth grade? it gives them flexibility. not all school districts are the same. it is important that they all have that flexibility and autonomy to make those decisions which are best for their kids.
>> why is this important? recently, i was talking to a kindergarten teacher. she described to me what her date is like. i want you to think of what it might be like. she has 45-year-olds all day long. -- she has 40 5-year-olds all day long. that is what it is important. she also described to me how she buys clue sticks, scissors, pencils, paper, and everything her students need, because resources are lacking at her school. on the face of it, we seem to agree on this. the problem is that brian cannot find class size reduction. his budget takes that money and put it somewhere else. i balanced the budget without moving education dollars. brian cannot say that.
>> next question. this one is for mr. sandoval. the empowerment model gives principals more control over budget and curriculum. in clark county, they are supported by private donations. art edge schools dependent on private money? how'd you expect to get those private donors? >> with regards to empowerment schools, as mr. re-describes his schools and his plan, the edge schools and in vision schools. that is my point. i have read mr. repack plan. it is essentially a repackaging of empowerment. empowerment works great. we have many schools here in clark county. i visited shopper all -- i visited chaparall high-school. i think it should be expanded.
that is something i supported specifically within my plan. it will go to envision schools. we have more in the schools here in court county as well. there are people waiting in line. i think we have to have open enrollment to give kids a choice. it could be a charter school, a private school, or a public school for their children. >> the problem is it does not empower enough people. bryan's plan would not import enough people. age schools would be available to every school in the state of nevada. that is the difference. in clark county, there are a handful. there are a handful elsewhere. my plan would allow every school in nevada to be on that model so that the parents, teachers, and principal at that school can get together and decide what they want the school to be. we do not need all the strings
attached to empowerment schools currently. we need to give freedom to at the community level. my plan would do that, and it would fully fund that effort. that is how my plan is different. >> law already allows, in the state of nevada, and power schools. it should be expanded. the have the envisions schools. the smaller counties already are empowerment schools. when you are attending a school in lincoln county, it is very small. they have the ability to make those decisions because they're administration is so small. the issue with the edge school is it does not really change anything. we need to expand. we need to break the status quo. we cannot wait another five years for students to receive the benefits they deserve. under my plan, it would call for immediate change to help each and every child in the state of
nevada. >> this next question is for mr. reid. students are worried that the school choice and voucher programs will leave a disproportionate amount of low income students at some schools. >> the division between the schools. are the worst ones getting worse? do the better schools get better? how does that affect the plan? >> the inequities -- how do you plan on addressing that issue? >> i think what you do is you give opportunities to every school to be what they want to be. then you provide assistance to those schools. my plan would fund over $220 million in administrative cuts that we would reinvest into the classrooms. part of that reinvestment includes providing teachers an incentive to go teach in schools that are having a little more trouble.
provide 21st century technology that would be available to schools that are having a little bit more difficulty. that is where i believe my plan gives opportunity to every school in nevada. every school would have the opportunity to empower itself. there is funding for that plan in my budget. bryan's plan would lead to the concern that the student mentioned, because he provides tours to a limited number of people. the incentives in his plan only are available to the schools that perform well. he punishes poor performing schools even more and rewards the best schools even more. that is just going to exacerbate inequities. my plan provides opportunities to all schools and funds there are opportunities to become everything they want to be. >> your response? >> my plan calls for choice. i think parents deserve choice.
they should have the ability to send their kids to a school that they feel best fits their child's needs. that includes private schools. i think that is going to create competition. it is going to make the public and private schools better. look at the schools here. people are waiting in line to get in the school because it is so innovative. i think there are other schools and kids that would like to have the opportunity to attend those type of charter and private schools. i am very firm on this. i think parents deserve choice. the have the ability to send their children to career and technical schools and magnet schools, but they have to wait in line. we need to broaden it. i think competition is good and would be the best thing for all the kids in the state. >> i think the question is which parents should have what choice. bryan's plan gives a small number of parents a very good choice.
if your child attends a private school in nevada, under brians voucher plan you could get almost $6,000 a year to subsidize the private education. but if you have a child in a public school and that child wants to attend a private school, they would get approximately $6,000, but if the average cost is $16,000 what good would that do them? nothing at all. brian destroys to a limited number of people. my plan destroys to all students. that is the difference. that is why my plan is better. [applause] >> please hold your applause. we want to move on to higher education. this question is for mr. reid. neither of your plans address higher education. what are your plans for funding higher education? >> nobody likes to disagree with paula, but that is not right.
bryan's budget proposal would cut 12% from the higher education budget. my plan fully funds education. it does not cut higher education. why is that important? we all either know someone or are very close to someone that has lost their job. it is impossible to have the quality of life if you do not have a job. there is no better attention to create jobs and higher education. the massachusetts institute of technology, a fine institution -- the ideas that have been dreamed up at m.i.t. are responsible for creating 6000 companies that have employed 1.1 million people and has been responsible for $232 billion in sales. we can do that in nevada. there is nothing stopping us from doing that here. to do that, we need to build our higher education system so
it can provide the kind of good ideas we can leverage into the private sector so our people can go back to work. you cannot do that if you are cutting higher education like jim gibbons has and brian sandoval proposes to do. higher education is key to our economic future. we also have a moral obligation. i was at the university of nevada last week. i met a girl who said the students could not be here if it were not for the millennium scholarships. half of them probably would not be in school. we need to create economic opportunities for our people. we also need to find it so that people can create opportunities for themselves so they can work and live their dreams. >> i have really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with the chancellor of the university. i have met with the presidents.
i am a proud graduate of unr. i think our universities are important to the diversification of our economy and the future of our state. i need to remind my opponent that university employees are state employees. as part of your budget plan that was released three days ago, it includes a continuation of the furlough. that reduces the funding for the university. i do not want to dwell on that. i want to dwell on the solution. as i met with the chancellor and the presidents of the university, they would like to have the ability to maintain their tuition may earn from out- of-state students. that gives them more ability to fund their education, make them independent from the state budget. i will work hard with the heads of each of the universities to give them autonomy and the ability to make decisions for their budgets. >> we have run out of time on this question.
>> that is all the time we have during this hour. it has gone quickly. we want to make sure both candidates have one last opportunity to let everyone know where they stand on education. >> i want to thank everyone for their attendance here, for this robust debate. i want to think bryant and all the sponsors. i started this debate with a strong position. i said that brian was not a strong leader. i said that because strong leaders are consistent. i am afraid there are two brian sandovals. one was trying to win a primary campaign and released a budget plan that would cut education in draconian ways. for those at home keeping score, jim gibbons cut education $300 million. brian sandoval has proposed to cut it $533 million.
i gave brian an opportunity to explain that away and he did not. i think that is unfortunate. the second brian sandoval released an education plan in which he described what he would do to make schools better. but a budget is a statement of your priorities. you cannot do the nice thing he talked about in his education plan if you cut it the way he does in his budget plan. they are inconsistent. nevada needs a leader that is an advocate for education and that consistently says that education is foundational to our future. that is what i said. will never have a vibrant economy in nevada at if we continue to shortchange schools. education is key to the development of our economy. companies that might be considering nevada will not come here if they do not think we have an educated workforce. the executives will not bring their children here if they do
not believe that their children can get a good education in our state. if less than half our kids are grinning from high school, we need to be ashamed of ourselves. when need to build education so we can put our people back to work. >> your closing statement? >> thank you very much. i would like to thank everybody who has attended this evening. i would like to think channel 8 and mr. andre agassi. i am glad to finish where i started. education is important to me both on a personal level and for the people of the state of nevada. i left a lifetime appointment because i care deeply about the future of this state. i think it is important, given the graduation rates we have had and the test scores we have had. we need to do something different. we can no longer accept the status quo.
my plan will do that. my plan calls for real accountability, real choice, real local control, ending teacher tenure, and ending social promotion. i think if we do those things now we will not lose the thousands of students i talked about. i am optimistic about the future of our state. if i have the opportunity to be elected your next governor, and i would like to respectfully ask for your vote, i will work hard every day to improve education here in the state of nevada. jobless all of you and god bless the great state of nevada. -- god bless all of you. thank you very much. [applause] >> next, president obama talks about this month's rise in unemployment.
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public service. >> president obama renewed his call for passage of a series of tax breaks and other benefits directed at small businesses. the president spoke about the latest jobless numbers heading into the labor day holiday weekend. from the rose garden, this is less than 10 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. as we head into labor day weekend i know many people across this country are concerned about what the future hold for themselves, their families, and the economy as a whole. as i said from the start, there is no quick fix for the worst recession we have experienced since the great depression. the hard truth is that it took years to create our current economic problems and will take more time than any of us would like to repair the damage. millions of our neighbors are living with that painfully everyday. i want all americans to remind
themselves there are better days ahead. even after this economic crisis, our markets remain the most dynamic in the world. our workers are still the most productive. we remain the global leader in innovation, discovery, and entrepreneurship. we're losing 750,000 jobs a month when i took office. new figures showed the economy produced 67,000 private-sector jobs in august. the eighth consecutive month of private job growth. additionally, the numbers in july were revised upward to 107,00. that is positive news. that reflects breaking the back of this recession, but it is not good enough. we have taken further steps to create jobs to keep the economy going, including extending tax
cuts for the middle class and investing in the areas of the economy where the potential for job growth is greatest. in the weeks ahead i will discuss some of these ideas in detail. one thing we have to do also right now, one thing we have a responsibility to do right now is to lift up our small businesses, which accounted for over 60% of job losses in the final months of last year. that is why i am calling on congress to make passing a small business jobs bill its first order of business later this month. this is why this is important, up until this past may, we were not only raising fees for entrepreneurs who took out as belongs, we were also encouraging more community banks to make loans to responsible business owners. these steps are part of the reason about 70,000 new small business administration loans have been approved since i took office.
i think sarah up for the outstanding job she has been doing and the administrator of the sba. we have been fighting to extend the loan enhancements. a bill that would more than double the amount some small- business owners are able to borrow to grow their companies. it will completely eliminate the capital gains taxes on key investments so the small business owners can buy new equipment and expand. it will celebrate $55 billion in tax cuts for businesses large and small that make job- creating investments in the next 14 months. keep in mind, it is paid for. we will not add one dime to the deficit. so, simply put, this piece of legislation is good for workers, good for small business people, good for our economy. yet republicans in the senate have blocked the bill. a needless delay that has left small business owners across
this country to put off hiring and expanding and put off plans that will make our economy stronger. i have repeated since i ran for office, there is no silver bullet that is going to solve all of our economic problems. there are certain steps that we know will make a meaningful difference for small businessmen and women. the primary drivers of job creation. there are certain measures we know will advance our recovery. the small business jobs bill is one of them. i am confident we can put partnership aside and be leaders the american people need us to be if we are willing to do what is best not for the next election but for the next generation. we are not only going to see if america's hard-working families and small businesses bounceback, but rebuild america's economy stronger than before. thank you very much.
i will be addressing a broader package of ideas next week's. we are confident that we are moving in the right direction, but we want to keep this recovery moving stronger and accelerate the job growth that is needed so desperately all across the country. >> [unintelligible] do you regret the administration decision to call the recovery -- ? >> i don't regret the notion that we are moving forward. >> i will have a press conference next week. we will be able to answer some specific questions. the economy is moving in and a positive direction. jobs are being created.
just not being created as fast as they need to, given what we experienced. we will have to continue to work with republicans and democrats to have ideas that will frederick celebrate the job growth. i am confident if we can do that. the evidence we have seen this summer and over the last 18 months if indicate we are moving in the right direction. we just need it to speed up. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
>> alan rappeport writes about the unemployment numbers. the rise in u.s. private jobs, private sector jobs raises hope. how does an uptick in the jobs number provide a little hope? >> the number was better than expected overall. there was -- the headline number was digital declined. that was due to the census layoffs, the temporary workers the used over the summer. there was revisions to the month before and i in june. we saw the economy was not as weak as people were expecting. >> how many new jobs were created in the month and where are those jobs coming from? >> private payrolls were up by 67,000 and we saw there were increases in health care, education, and temporary workers, which was a good sign. >> what is the biggest obstacle
to getting the jobs, the employment rate to increase to get jobs building across the country? >> what is interesting is -- what is holding the economy is demand remains weak. consumers are cautious and spending cautiously. the housing market is holding things back. people continue to have lost equity and a lot of household wealth because of that. it is slowing down the overall back drop of the economy and companies are cautious about hiring. the backdrop is still so uncertain. >> i read a piece earlier that it is not just about the lost jobs, but it is the jobs machine. the way the u.s. used to be able to create jobs in the 1960's and early 2000. what will it take to get the jobs machine working again? >> there are concerns that we are facing sort of structural employment change.
we may be facing unemployment at 10%. there was one bright note. long-term unemployment, people who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks fell back and that is encouraging. when people are unemployed for that long, there starts to be problems with their skills eroding and they are much less employable. we need to see better matching in terms of companies being able to fund the types of employees they will need to go forward. >> how did they markets react? the markets were pretty enthusiastic. expectations were so low. there was a sense this could have been much worse. there was some enthusiasm there and other data that came out later of which was less hopeful. that brought things back a bit. >> is their enthusiasm for some of the remedies that are being
talked about, another round of stimulus, small-business lending, other items that the administration may bring forward in the next week or so? >> that is a big issue with the midterm elections in november. the president called for small business jobs bills and called for a middle-class tax cuts. those initiatives are being held up. next week, some possibilities there. one issue facing the administration is whatever they're able to do will not show up on payrolls by november. >> you can read his writing at ft.com. thanks for joining us. >> joining us is the senior white house reporter for politico, covering the president
and his news today about the unemployment rate. it also wrote about measures being reported on that the administration wants to take to boost the economy. what are some of those things under consideration? >> rahm emanuel has been pushing internally for a number of weeks now a new set of infrastructure improvements. it is not quite clear how they would get the support in the house or the senate to actually pass that. it could cause quite a bit of money. they are considering a permanent extension of the research and development tax credit, about $70 billion over the next 10 years. >> the president has a busy week next week. how soon do they want to see some of these measures implemented? >> as soon as possible. they will be unveiled monday or tuesday of next week when he heads out to milwaukee. he has and again on tuesday in cleveland. we are told we will see these things -- it is not really decided whether or not it will be all presented on monday or if
it will dribble out over the week. there is not a lot of time left and have to get this stuff out there. >> i want to ask about the concept of fiscal stimulus. the stimulus passed in february a year ago, and i want to look at some of the figures and how that has been spent are not spent so far. according to the website, they have spent about $431 built in. maybe one-third of the $787 million paid out. how difficult does that make it for democrats for another round of fiscal stimulus? >> you hit the nail right on the head. because of the speed with which the stimulus had to be passed and because of the treacherous political environment, with them needing two or three republicans at a time when they were not going to budge, folks at the
white house are kicking themselves that they did not load the stimulus with more high-profile projects, info structure projects. they are regretting that a lot of this included aid to the states and tax cuts. there is a sense they would have preferred the lower propofol stuff had been broken out and have all of it being shot already projects. -- shovel-ready projects. they are really regretting the way this thing went down. >> the president goes out next week ahead of a number of key primaries in different states. who is the trip really aimed for? is it for the president's political standing or for boosting democratic races in the house and senate? >> i think it is one and the same. a senate aide told me that we
really need to get his numbers up, meaning obama. the obama folks mean to prove the need to prove they can get the old magic back. it is a really tough task. is this move to the economy the turning of the page that the president mentioned the other night in the speech about the end of combat operations in iraq? >> we have been turning a lot of pages for a lot of months. the problem is, the presidency keep coming at him, and we have a lot of these benchmarks on foreign policy we are having to deal with. we have a lot of big decisions on afghanistan coming up in the next year or so. i think the frustration has been that the presidency -- the daily pressures and unpredictable nature of the presidency, along with these terrible economic numbers and the unexpected
downturn has really hamstrung the white house. >> glenn thrush is the senior political reporter for politico. he joins us from the offices of politico. thanks for being here. >> president obama will make two stops next week to talk about the economy. he will kick off labor day week on monday in milwaukee wisconsin. he travels to ohio and on friday, holds the white house news conference. >> now, a discussion of the 2010 midterm elections. speakers include john a goldberger. this is hosted by the american political science association.
>> good afternoon, everyone. i am sharing this panel. i would like to welcome you on behalf of the claremont institute, and the panel is the upcoming 2010 elections. yesterday, coming down on the plane, i was reading "the wall street journal," and i noticed a front-page story which sums up the state of play in the upcoming midterm elections. the title of the story was called "outlook deming for democrats." the cook political report keeps raising the number democratic house seats that are at substantial risk. in june, it was 58.
in july, it was 62. today it is 68, and it is expected this week to rise to more than 70. 39 seats are needed to retake control of the house. weekly tracking poll out this week gives republicans an unprecedented 10-point lead, 51-41 on the generic ballot. allot. support for obamacare fell to 43%, its weakest since last may. and then last night i check the in tray betting -- [laughter] -- the constant in april had a 39% chance of taking over the house. the beginning of august, the number rose to 56. and yesterday evening it was 75.
some people are putting their money where their mouths are. democrats, in order to control -- democrats to control senate are still ahead in in tray betting. but they declined from the high '70s at the beginning of august to 62 last night. our panelists this afternoon will attempt to make sense out of these developments. and to do so, not as eugene robinson attempted to do so this morning in the "washington post," by blaming the spoiled brat american electorate. what are the historical precedents for this election? 1994 immediately comes to mind, but there are others. and even more important, looking beyond november, what should republicans be doing?
what should their program of the wax we have today a distinguished roster of political scientists who can help, and i emphasize political scientists, who can help us to understand what is happening and what republicans, what the best things for republicans to be doing now are. our panelists are, in the order in which they will make the presentation, andrew busch, who teaches political science at claremont mckenna college. among his many books are, and this one i singled out for its relevance, horses in midstream. the u.s. midterm elections and their consequences. he's also co-author with another of our panelists, jack pitney benny, epic journey, the 20 -- and jim caesar, sorry, jim. epic journey, the 20 -- 2000 election in american politics.
he will be followed by jonah goldberg of -- who is editor at large of the "national review," visiting fellow at the american enterprise institute, and the author of liberal fascism. third of in the middle is matt spalding of the heritage foundation, and author of we still hold these truths. forth is jack pitney of claremont mckenna college, who is the author of american government and politics. democracy, deliberation and citizenship. and, finally, we have transfixed, the claremont contributing editor to the claremont review of books whose most recent book out is out, is called never enough, america's limitless welfare state.
so, gentlemen. [applause] >> thank you, jeanne. it's a real pleasure to be here. as jeanne mentioned clearly the table would seem at this point to be said for the republican gains in the midterm elections. she alluded to some of the factors that lead to this and lead of a significant size, generic, low approval of congress, presidential approval ratings are hanging around 45%. a bad ratio of in what's called the right track, wrong track polling, poor objective economic conditions, and poor perceptions of the economy by voters. an advantage by republicans issue by issue on most of the issues that appalled at the
moment, which is a dramatic change from two years ago, and four years ago. and looking seat by seat, there are a lot more vulnerable democrats than vulnerable republicans. so it would seem to be likely that republicans are going to make big gains. a natural tendency it's to search for some kind of historical analogies or parallels, and so i would like to spend some time talking about what some of those might be in this election year. on the one hand, no to elections are ever exactly the same. and so there are limits to any attempt to find vertical analogies. and, of course, we are handicapped at this moment by the minor detail of not knowing the actual result. [laughter] >> so that impose a further limit on our ability to make historical analogies. but on the other hand, i think you can identify certain patterns, and you can put
elections into meaningful categories. and at least identify what some of the, what some of the possibilities are. these categories, or this process, can tell something about the strategic challenges facing each party and possibly even some effects on the next presidential race. so what are the possibilities? it seems to me that there are three main possibilities to think about. one of them would be a parallel with elections like 1946, 1994, or if you want to go back a little further, maybe even 1894 or 1930. these were cases where there were big gains by the opposition party, big enough that they wound up being swept into a majority. 1930 is a little complicated, but we can live it at that for now. so the opposition party had a big year and they become the
majority. what happens? they gain some power. even though the president was of the other party they were still able to pass some legislation. sometimes are the president to veto, sometimes not. sometimes with his cooperation. these included relief bills after 1930. the taft-hartley act after 1946 and welfare reform. after 1994. simultaneously and connected to the fact that they have new power was the fact it additional responsibility and were perceived as having some responsibility for governing. this made him a target, or a potential target, in a way that they were not before. the question in this isn't, really the equation would be if the republicans gain enough seats to gain a majority, in congress, can obama adjust?
can he make the shift that might be necessary to deal with that new situation? if you look at the four instances that i mentioned, in two of them, 1946 and 1994, the opposition party gained a majority in congress but then lost the presidency the next time around anyway, and even in one of those cases lost control of congress right back again. in the other two cases, they not only won the next presidential election, but actually built an enduring majority that defined american politics for some time after that. what was the difference between these? well, partly it depended on the conditions. that was a very important factor. in the country. the depression of, and the great depression both made it likely to opposition party was going to win the presidency no matter what congress did. but there were other factors, including the skills of the new
majority, their aptitude in trying to share in government. and also the adaptability of the president. everybody knows that harry truman and bill clinton confronted congress and made a lot of pay out of those confrontations. but what people oftentimes forget is over those present also gave a lot of ground. sometimes not better job at -- voluntarily. but in bill clinton's case particular he made a concerted effort to move towards republican, at least rhetorically and sometimes even substantively. so that he confronts it part of time but he also was flexible and was able to declare the era of big government is over, signed welfare of forming even endorsed in theory the principle of a balanced budget prior to the next presidential election. hoover and grover cleveland on the other hand were much more
rigid and really not able to make those kind of accommodations to the new majority. can obama make those kind of accommodations? we don't know. unless the republicans gain a majority we won't have a chance to find out, but i have a suspicion based on his conduct so far that he may not be as adaptable as bill clinton. he may be more rigid than bill clinton, and not as able to make the kind of adjustments that clinton made. the second possible set of analogies would be something like 1938 and 1966 where the opposition party made very big gains, but not quite enough to be a majority. in 1938, not anywhere close to be a majority because they started with fewer than 100 seats in the house. what wound up being the result of this? they had very little power in a positive sense to pass legislation. either for reasons of good government or to embarrass the
president. they also had little responsibility and were not as big a target for the president. these elections did change the momentum, the political environment quite a bit. they gave the opposition party extra energy, a bit of extra and the deathly had the effect of stymieing the president. in fact, there are a lot of possible things that you could pick for this, but if you are trying to pick a date when the new deal governing, the new deal era as an air of policymaking really ended or the great society really ended a very plausible thing would be 1938 and 1966 because of the way the term elections change the partisan balance and the momentum as well. sometimes in these cases, the
opposition party that has made new gains once the next presidential election. sometimes it doesn't. but they tend to be more competitive and energized in either case. finally, there's a set of possible examples, which republicans will not want to dwell on, and democrats will grasp onto as strong as possible. and these are cases in which there were expectations of big gains at some point, not too far in advance of the election. but didn't actually materialize. and here i'm thinking particularly of 1962 and of 1998. in 1962, in the late summer, republicans thought they might be able to gain 30 seats, or 40 seats in the house, that they might be able to really challenge democratic congress on the basis of broad perception in
the country that john f. kennedy was not dealing with cuba firmly enough. in the late summer of 1998, there were hopes by some republican strategists that they could gain as many as 30 seats in congress on the basis of the clinton scandal. in the end, those things did not happen. they gained four seats in house and lost three in the senate in 1962. in 1998, you might remember they gain nothing in the senate and actually lost five seats in the house. and in both cases this was really a strategic defeat. the republican morale was shaken. the democrats were energized rather than republicans. newt gingrich lost his job after the midterm election of 1998, and it was just generally a disaster for the republicans in both cases. so the lesson for republicans, i think, is don't take anything for granted.
the table may be set but that doesn't mean the dinner is going to be served. you have to actually win the seat when the time comes to it. but i would also say that democrats shouldn't take too much glee from these possible exceptions, these examples, where the hoped-for, expected, losses didn't come into being. why? because these two cases were situations in which the table was not really set the way that it is now, where in some of the other elections, the economy was doing fine. for the most part. the presidential approval was high. the republicans did not have advantages on a broad range of issues. they were hoping for a single issue would be the silver bullet that would bring them big gains, and it turned out that events intervened and in some cases their own missteps in a fiend,
and that single issue that they had to rely on was turned upside down. and actually worked against them rather than for them. . . presidential approval would undoubtably go up a bit, at least for a time. i am not convinced it would fundamentally change the dynamic of the race, because this election does not seem to be about osama bin laden. the equivalent today of a cuban missile crisis disrupting
republican gains in 1962 would be a major improvement in the employment situation. we have seen today that probably is not going to happen. some event that would convince a large number of americans that the health care reform was actually a stroke of brilliance. it is hard to say what that event would be between now and november 1. event would be between now and november 1. or a discovery in the budget that there was on accounting error. [laughter] >> and the national debt was $1.3 trillion rather than $13 trillion. [laughter] those are the sorts of things that could disrupt the dynamics today because they would undercut the basis of the dynamic. you can never be sure until votes are counted on what's going to happen. there are strange situations where people think they will
make big gains and don't, but without making too far a guess, i would be surprised if those materialize to disrupt the dynamic that's underway right now. thank you. [applause] gll well, -- >> well, i'm excited to be here. the claremont panels are sort of famous, and amidst all of stuff, there's a meeting in the cat that i appreciate. maybe it's because i was the only republican inman -- manhattan.
i'm not an academic. i'm a pundit. as you know that's a word that comes from india and means master of arts, science, history, philosophy and whatnot. in america it means someone who makes any prediction possible and is willing to change it as long as there's free food and an open bar involved. [laughter] take everything i say with that caveat. it probably doesn't make sense to go through the terrible numbers the democrats in the obama administration are looking at. it must be fear not for the worst is yet to come. [laughter] it seems to me as i was thinking about this that, you know, there are two separate arguments going on right now in the liberal intelligent world going on. one is that there's one set of people who are defending obama and the other set who is
defending liberalism and trying in effect to protect investments in one or the other. in the case of obama, everyone is saying he's gotten stuff done and is more popular than the historical parallels in 94 and 1982 and whatnot. there's other people saying liberalism is fine, but obama screwed it up because of messages and communications and whatnot. it seems to me that both of these arguments are deeply, deeply flawed. it's funny in washington right now the -- there's been a boom in saying to find hope for obama and democrats and the example of ronald reagan in 1992, the economy was in bad shape. the republicans got drugged in the midterm elections which is typical for most presidents in midterm elections, but by 1984 he was doing great. i find the comparison flawed in a nemple different ways.
the chief recession is different than that one which both on the right and left say at this point. what i think is interesting, personally, is what an enormous concession trying to make that comparison is because when barak obama came into office in 2008, the intellectual climate with cover stories and "time" magazines called obama's new deal was we were about to embark on a 30 year progressive era and was time for a new deal and it was discredited by george bush. for those of us who noted george bush as i say in less veeb yal add yens spent money like a peep to live. he was branded as a new herbert
hoover. then again, herbert hoover was him either. at this point the people counting this stuff doesn't want to remind anybody they were touting it. i can't see any reason why i can't bring it up. [laughter] the fact that that prediction was deeply held by an enormous number of serious people both in academics and journalism that we were on the brink of a new, new deal has been objectively debunked. fdr, you know, we need to remember that fdr and the new deal were popular for quite a long time as andy bush pointed out. until 1938 it was in policy mode. i think fdr gained 90 seats in the house and 13 in the senate.
in the off year elections of 19 # 3 that no one talks about fdr pronew deal candidates won governorships in various states, and in 1934 rather than lose seats, fdr built on that and gained more in 1936. we now know from the scott brown election we know from the events in nernlingsz and virginia and all the elections we had that no such parallel has taken place regardless of how the midterms turn out. we already know that the popularity of the new, new deal simply isn't there in practical octoberive terms, so even if the rosy scenarios don't happen, everybody agrees democrats are going to lose a significant number of seats in the house and senate. how significant, that's for
someone else to predict, but that fact in and of itself proves the political climate is different than it needs to be to support the idea we're entering a new, new deal. so, i think the fact that these predictions were so omnipresent says something about why obama and the democrats have so fundamentally overreached. it's because they thought it was true, and they were working on an understanding of the political climate that actually did not track with reality. i think a very good explanation for one of the reasons in the democrats so overreached came from jay cost who does excellent political analysis for real and clear politics. jay pointed out that, you know, in the 1960s the committee
chairs, the democratic committee chairs were almost universally to the right of the file of the democratic party. in the thought -- whatever we are in now, it's the reverse from nancy pelosi, they are all well to the left of the average democrat and they are also, very, very old, and they saw this was their moment to solidify their long term aspirations and get their legacy work done before they exited the public stage or this mortal coil or whatever, and that's what they did, and they were -- they came from absolutely safe seats, you know, no one was ever going to vote. there were guys in the bureau voting out henry waxman, and so
they went for it. they swung for the fences and they succeeded. i think that barak obama shrewdly understood that when he outsourced congress. the american people said, wait a minute, we didn't vote for this. we voted for a way of changing the way washington works, but you have empowered one the most entrenched constituencies in the parties to gust off ideas that go back some 70 years. there's an excellent piece in "time" magazine, and i don't say that often, but it's how barak obama became unpopular. he talks to people in indiana and the people said we felt betrayed. this is not what we expected. i think that that more than anything else is probably what is fueling, i mean, along with the economic climate and the
stimulus, and i should say the stimulus, i think was the original sin of the obama administration that obama did have a chance, not necessarily for a new deal, but break the back of the republican for ten years. if they came up with a package that bought off 15% of the caucus, then the republicans wanted to sign on to something. i mean, i talked to consultants at the time and they were terrified that obama was going to give the republicans what they were asking for, if they had done that, then the recovery would have been pi partisan or the lack of recovery, this economic winter we call the summer of recovery would have been bipartisan, and the republicans couldn't run against it in the midterm elections, but instead it was greedy and full of wish list projects that the republicans felt they had to vote against it.
not only did they vote against it making this a partisan endeavor, they realized you can vote against a popular president and gain from it. that was the undoing i think of the obama administration and of the democratic prospects. i'll close on one insight i find worth thinking about more. when we had the first new deal in the 1930s, you had the sense that the top-down status progressive policies or whatever label you want on them, were a necessity for the poor or average man. now there is a real sense that the big ticket items of cap-and-trade that these are luxuries for the wealth and will pay for, but when times are tough, these things seem like
they are not worth the resources or the money. there's a very funny ironny to this. there's economic arguments i'm sliding by, but i think to some extent, the ironny here is obama is less the fdr and might turn out to be the new hoover because people forget that, you know, the reason hoover was hoover was because his policies failed to end the great depression. when fdr came into office he could say, i got to try something new even though it was a continuation of hoover. politically it seems like a turning of the page or a new deal. it may be and my biases are obvious, i'm hoping it may turn out that this incredible explosion in spending and new deal approach to economics because they are failing may in turn turn out to discredit these
things giving republicans an enormous opportunity which, if history is a guide, they will blow. [laughter] to actually craft some new free market oriented policies to solidify the republican stature and cred the for a long time to come, but time will tell. thank you all very much. [applause] >> thank you. it's good to follow jonah. we do this quite a bit. from now on i'll insist i go first, jonah. we are all moving down slowly. i'd like to pick up where he left off with broad perspectives about liberalism. i'm struck by the moment of where we are right now based on those comments which there are a
lot of interesting analysis going on about liberals that we must remember is best understood by a lot of analysis of people done in this room. there's scholars from claremont, myself, and others. going back to some scholarship that grew out of the 1950s, people like forest mcdonald that launched the attack and the federalist papers and especially the work of harry jackman. all of that is important to explain the moment we are in today. those views do not dominate political science. as a very quick look at the schedule of the american political science association will prove a great length if you look at it over the course of the last say 50 years. you see, the left has long
maintained what they call the modern administrative state is inevitable, permanent, and ever-expanding. the ride that progressivism, progressive movement and great society especially finally got over its love affair with the american founding and limited government. republicans came to accept this argument. most democrats rallied around the view. the responsible thing was stewardship at the modern state. there never was a serious questioning of its direction. as a result politic was the ebb and flow between progress and change on one hand and consolidation of the status quo. there are a few aberrations here like ronald reagan, but no real change of the project. all we had to do was wait for
the wave of reform, who? jimmy carter? no. bill clinton? and the election of 2008. a funny thing happened on the way to the revolution. the less overreading gave rise to the overreaching agenda which is deeply unpopular. this is the american science association, i have data. [laughter] a colleague of mine mike frank looked at exit polls after the 2008 elections. exit polls are very accurate. people have just voted. it asked how you define yourself as a liberal or conservative. the gap between liberal and conservative is outlined in this chart which by the color you can see. red is conservative. the gap. dark red is a gap of over 16 points between self-identified
conservative and self-identified liberal. this is after the 2008 election polls. the only places where it's over 10% there's plus liberal self-identification is in the northern states. if gets worse over time. if you look at several polls down by gallup released at the end of the august asking the same question, how do you identify yourself liberal or conservative it turns out there are conservative majorities in every state, all 50 states. the only plaices where there's self-identification, more liberals than conservative is the district of columbia. [laughter] i'll leave it at that. [laughter] large numbers of the american people identify themselves as conservative, twice as many of the american liberals.
moreover what's interesting is these voters who are tending in this direction are being brought together by a new cluster of issues here to fore not to be that important, debt. who would have thought that was a national hot issue. spending, the role of government, the loss of liberty, things that didn't have a focal point to concentrate the public's anger. this sharpen a trend that's been going on for some time. one who follows polls well pointed out in 1958 when the american people asked if they trusted government to do the right thing, the answer was 73% said always or most of the time. that number held throughout the 1960s, but by 1978, two years before ronald reagan, it plummeted to 40%. now by a margin of 58% to 38%,
americans prefer smaller government and fewer services to larger government. in the last year and a half the margin between the favoring smaller government moved from a gap of five points to 20 points. one of my favorite polls since we're talking about them, today just 20% of voters nationwide believe the federal government enjoys the consent. 61% believe it does not, 18% are not sure or don't care. [laughter] as james madison said, they deserve their chains. at the same time what's interesting is 63% of the political class think the exact opposite. 63% of the political class believe that government has the consent of the govern and only 6% of the mainstream agrees with that view.
perhaps it turns out the progressive transformation is in complete. in the form of the modern state is not yet settled at least by the american people. is it possible they are waking up to what's going on? to this we add a conflict of points about debt, spending, taxation, many are seen as moral issues, bailouts. it's a moral issue for most people. there's something about the united states or a nation about principles, its politics are unique. most of the time issues are shoved to the background, politics are local, handful a issues rise to the agenda, but most of the time it looks back. which is why it's about the meaning of the nation. this election has not been nationalized, but what i like to call foundationallized. in our state, the con sensual
statement is a realignment bringing together politics with understanding of the principles of the constitution is no longer possible, yet we see some indicationings of that possibility. is that possible anymore in the modern era? this growing divide between political leads and opinion between mainstream america and political who seem to have an interesting and increasing disstain for middle america. of those american clinging to their declarations of independence. the democratic party does not show any evidence they can accommodate to that opinion. witness the fact that the health care votes before scott brown's elections were followed by forcing it through with votes. now this growing opposition to run away debts and spending means the american people are not ready to get rid of social
security or close down education, true, it may mean they are ready to enforce limits on the state. this is a historic opportunity for conservatives. they are offering a challenge to seek to conserve these principles. the tea party mood if you want to call it stands by a partisan agenda to revive the state and endure a political opinion about the future of the nature and purpose of constitutional government. to do that we must have a compelling argument that is a narrative of american politics and find a new direction for the country and in turn establishes it in real policies. that argument in turn needs to become the agenda of the republican party. decisive forcing a choice, can they do that? i have my doubts. party numbers have looked low,
but the ballot looks good to them. they should recall it was a few months ago nearly half the voters believed that people randomly selected from the phone book could do as good of a job as the current congress. perhaps they were right in the first place. to go back to my first point rs we need now more than ever to relate and explain america's principles which the american people still hold though confused. we need to write the principles to politics and policies and that requires prudence and statesmenship. the kinds of things that we've been talking about places like the claremont institute study and national review and climate review of the books and the hair taj foundation. see, this is not a libertarian moment or something like that. this is an american moment when people go back to thane
instipghts. it's a teaching moment. what happened in the 2000 elections is not yet known, but what we believe is the american people are poised to make a very important decision, a correct decision that might play out for some time in american politics. what's interesting is the strength and clarity of the founders' argument has given expression and brought to a decision might well be the fuel for establishing a new governing coalition which in turn might well undermind the very foundation of the limited administrative state. at the very least it's a step to the long road back to limited government. thanks. [applause] >> want to start with a report from the "new york times".
as we go to the labor day weekend for the opening of the fall campaigns, both parties share a like-minded view of the landscape. pros peghts for democrats are bleak. the only unknown is just how bleak. that was rick burke writing on september 4, 1994. i start with that quotation to make a point. one of the commentaries you heard in recent months was the big difference between 1994 and 2010 is that the democrats are ready. they know what's coming. well, guess what? they knew in 1994 what was coming granted it wasn't until the final days that they realized republicans would go over the top and win an actual majority in the house, but they knew they were in for a very big hit. when a landslide is about to happen, there's very, very little that you can do to stop
it. trust me on this. five years ago my house got squished by an actual real-life landslide. [laughter] when you see those mud balls rolling down the hill all you can do is run away and scream like a chicken. [laughter] what were the signs 16 years ago and how do they relate to what we've seen in 2010? well, special offyear elections. a lot has been made about the victories in new jersey and virginia. well, guess what? we had victories in new jersey and virginia for the republicans in 1993. special elections, obviously this year scott brown. he had important special elections in 199 # and 1994 and hutchenson, we tend to forget years later that was really attention-getting a set in democratic hands for some time, and totally forgotten these days, but very significant in
dismowr was the victory of ron louis in kentucky. this was a seat that had been in democratic hands since reconstruction and a fairly obscure republican candidate won it which led bill clinton to say, well, it's nay see time out there. what other parallels do we have have? lots. in 1994, you had an unpopular president. at this point, barak obama's doing a little better than bill clinton was in early september of 1994, but not by much. the trajectory is similar starting off high and going down. congressional approval somewhere
in the vicinity of athlete's foot. [laughter] really, really low. it's very difficult to get anybody to say they approve of congress. now, mind you, this doesn't translate necessarily into a race of the republican party. gallup has numbers just out of those who were inteppedding to vote republican. 48%, but 4 #% it's a vote against the democratic candidate. it's really close. a lot of the republican support basically as others have said is unearned. this is against the democrats, not necessarily against the republicans. as matt pointed out the challenge for republicans as tom hanks said in "saving private ryan" is earn it. the other parallel, scandals. here the similarities are're
ri. there was a series of scandals in 1994 culminating in the chairman of the means committee. well, guess what? charley rangel of the ways committee is on the trial for bad behavior and made the most of it and that's okay with republicans. one thing that probably hasn't gotten a lot of attention. in 1994 democrats made a real, really dumb political mistake. there wasn't a lot they could do to stop the mud slide, but at least they could have limited the damage. they made it worse. they went after the christian right and christian conservatives. the head of the dccc talked about the fire-breathing christian right. that was really stupid because they were trying to hold on to a bunch of seats in the south where guess what, the christian
right was popular and if you make it a choice between the republicans and christian rights versus the democrat, who do they vote for? this time around it's not identical, but a fairly similar mistake by going after the tea party movement and saying tea baggers and tea party this and that. stupid, stupid, stupid. if they want a majority, they have to hold on to seats by people in alabama and if they want to hold on, they need to hold votes from people who like the tea party movement, and if you turn this into a choice dween the democrats and tea party movement, those folks are going down. stupid, stupid, stupid. this is political malpractice on the part of the democrats. similarities and differences. differences are pretty important some of which work to the republican's favor and some don't. difference that works in favor
of the republicans, the economy. in 1994 the economy was not that bad. on september 2, 1994, almost exactly 16 years to the day, labor department reported unemployment to be 6.1%. this morning it's 9.6%. that sai difference that is hurtful for the democrats. the economy is many, many worse. another advantage that the democrats had in 1994 cuts both ways, but what they had was newt. newt was a champion fundraiser for the democrat and republican parties. [laughter] newt was a great fundraiser for republicans but also for democrats because they had lots and lots of attack bailerrings saying newt's coming and the
checks poured in. who do they have now? what enemies do they have now? mitch mcconnell? [laughter] that is like russell baker talking about jackson with the fire going out. john baner? the only way to arrows people against john is if there's some hidden prejudice against orange people. [laughter] so, you know, lots of luck with that. now, a couple real advantages the democrats have. found raising. -- fund raising. in 1994, the republicans at the national party level did have a pretty significant advantage in fund raising. this time the national party committees, if you look at them, the democrats have a pretty significant fundraising advantage. that is going to help them hold on to seats they might otherwise
lose. partly this is mitigated by the republican outside groups like american crossroads, republican governors association, that might offset the democratic fundraising advantage. this is going to help democrats hold at least a few seats on the bubble rings an you can't ignore that element in election. a much bigger disadvantage for the republicans is in 1994, nobody remembered what a republican majority looked like. in 2010 everybody remembers what a republican majority looks like and the memories are pretty. there is a record that democrats can hold on to and run gns and even people who sympathetic, yeah, it's not all good. so that is a bit of a burden for republicans. the biggest difference, i think, is what comes after the election
and, again, i'm harking back to matt's point. the deficit. as a percentage of gross domestic deficit, it's three times larger than it was in 1994. there are sobering decisions that lie ahead that are going to take the kind of political courage that congressman paul ryan has shown, and the question is whether other republicans can show political courage in coming up with real solutions that will have a real effect on the deficit. if they can do that, then they can earn victory, and if they can't, they won't. [applause] >> thank you, and good
afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. let me speak institutionally a second to note this afternoon's panel is one of 15 organized at this years american political science association convention. let me thank our friend and colleague of hillsdale college in doing a great job of putting these panels together. [applause] oscar wild said there's two kinds of tragic stories. one is about people who don't get what the want, and the other is about people who do. in november 2008, american liberals got what they wanted, the clearest signal since 1964 that the voters wanted reliable, durable majorities to the advocates of activist government. as jonah mentioned in a
post-election cover story for "time" magazine barak obama's majority looked sturdy like the new deal and there was a chance to establish liberal harmony to last until his daughters were parents. because taking aggressive action to stimulate the economy, regulate the financial industry, and sure up the american welfare state won't divide obama's political coalition. it will divide the other side. 22 months later liberal assessments of the political landscape are as gross as the ones after the election were triumphant. in june 2010 third way, a think tank, contracted with a polling firm that worked on the obama campaign to assess americans' attitudes on economic policy.
its survey of 1100 likely voters found 54% favored cutting taxes for business as a way to stimulate the economy compared to 32% in favor of making new government investments. among voters who identified themselves as independents the gap was even wider. 60 to 28%. 55% of all respondents agreed that american companies are the backbone of the economy and we need to help them grow whether they are large or small. by comparison 37% agreed with the statement large companies have too much power, hurt the middle class, and government needs to keep them in check. compare belie there was higher priority to reducing the deficit than on government spending, new
technologies, or infrastructure. among independents, nearly twice as many, 47 to 25 percent considered republicans serious about reduction. according the third way summary poll it is a choke card and conservatives currently hold it. the liberal journalist michael called the third way poll gruesome news for democrats. the great bottom line hope back in 2008 was that obama was going to restore trust in government and prove it could solve problems. that hasn't happened. he contends it's not just the third wave poll like a lot of other surveys that is ominous. the real story he argues is that the larger war against conservatives wages at the debt
ray that is being lost. as we sit here, a few miles from capitol hill the 2010 elections are 60 days away. democrats would, at this point, be thrilled if they lost only 25 seats in the house and four in the senate. such results at the low end of just about everyone's range of expectations would leave democrats very relieved on election night, but confront them with a big problem the next morning. as william of the brookings institution wrote last month, whether democrats actually lose in the midterms matters less than common tai tores assume. even if they cling to the majorities, president obama will not muster the 60 votes in the senate needed to surmount republican filibusters. whatever happens, he's forced to negotiate with a republican opposition on nearly equal
terms. at the very least then, the new era of liberalism is about to join a two year high you does. beside the democratic president and a less democratic congress, two other things are going to start on the morning of wednesday, november 3. first the argument over why the winners of the 2006 and 2008 elections did so much less than they expected to restore trust in government and prove to solve problems. second, the 2012 presidential and congressional campaigns will begin. i mean, really begin. the first has a great impact on the second since each party explains its goals going forward to the 2012 elections based on a theory of what the public demands and cannot tolerate. a serious electoral set back
confronts every party or movement with the same dilemma. do we on the one hand recommit to our agenda and world view confident we can once again secure majorities on that basis if only we explain ourselves clearly in mower in a more principled and capable manner, or alternatively, do we construe the defeats as evidence that the public is resistant to at least some parts of our enterprise and that for the sake of the goals we can effect, we have to reform late the ones we cannot. after 1984, democrats did in a conflicted and halting manner, recalibrate some parts of their message and mission. unable to reach a consensus about how much revision was truly necessary, they won back the white house in 1992 with a
nominee exceptionally gifted at convincing add vor cares who disagreed with or detested one another that he agreed and sympathized with both or all of them. as the great journalist michael kelly wrote in 1994, the president's essential character flaw isn't dishonesty as so much, a honest. [laughter] bill clinton means what he says, but tomorrow he means what he says when he says the opposite. it's not only on consecutive days, but in consecutive sentences. as in scene of this 1996 state of the union address when big government is over, but can't go back to fending for yourself, one of the reasons he posted to
reelection after that speech was americans were optimistic about having a middle way of big government and feppedding for yourself. reacceptive that doing so would not require any stark painful choices. republicans did not get the contract renewed by the voters in 2008 partly because too many americans were app presencive about fending for themselves in the severe economic downtown. now, the democrats face a hard election because growing numbers of voters regard the obama agenda as an effort to stipulate the era of big government being over is itself over. the democrats are in more danger than seems possible than in 2008 because the stimulus and bailouts and health care and above all, federal deficits projected to average $1 trillion
per year for the coming decade add up to more audacity than many americans hoped for. [laughter] or prepared for. in the 1990s a government divided between a government president and a republican congress could tempize past, hard choices between big government and fending for yourself with the help of a booming economy and a declining defense outlays in the post-cold war era. the challenges posed by the coming era of more or less divided government will all be much harder. no one expects that this decades' geopolitical threats to suddenly vanish or federal surpluses to conveniently materialize. the need to fashion a government that capably does what we want, but no more than we want at a cost we are willing to pay will
not just make new demands on elected officials, but on a american citizens generally to work through how we want to resolve the tensions between our reversion of big government and fears about fending for ourselves. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much all of you panelists. bill, i'd like to start with by asking a first question, and that is if in the future we face divided government and all americans will be called upon to think about how they can win their way through a middle course, how do you do that when you have two political parties that are so divided and so much at logger heads with each other, and i wonder if you might speak to that. >> yes, i don't know how dough
do that or if you do that. it's been appointmented out recently that according to the ratings of groups like the american conservative union and democratic action we are in an interesting new point in american politics at least on capitol lill that apparently for the first time people know from looking at the numbers the most conservative democrats in the senate say is nonetheless still to the left of the most liberal republican, ben nelson gets -- >> senators -- >> yeah, yeah. so, there was a moment before the scandal of bill clinton was discussed in a book called "the pect" where in secret meetings newt gingrich and bill clinton
talked about a coalition to effect serious entitlement reform and talked about it as a center-out coalition. they knew they would be taking political risks and the most conservative elements would be angry and liberals would be angry at bill clinton, but they felt they had enough sway to hold the more attractable members of them in twine and get a compromise done. that sort of thing is not present today, but it might be made up for by a sense of panic about the growing deficits that may do the work that the configuration of political ideologies cannot. >> thank you. i wonder do the panelists have comments for each other before we open it up? >> i want to ad to bill's point about that. one of the thicks lost in the
current political conversation. on both sides of the aisle is an inability to talk about principles and policies in the same voice which is to say the idea of having policies that are steps towards going someplace and actually laying that out. one of the reasons why paul ryan's road map for america is interesting in many ways it's not the details, but the con cement which is here are what the accept -- steps are to get to a praise. place. that's a conversation we need to have. these principles are very divided. if we can think more about how to take those steps in a very practical way, which i think both parties have a lot of trouble doing. they want to talk about short term policies and often times narrow, or they mean nothing. how do you relate between the
two is the missing piece here. >> all i want to add is a narrow point in andy busch's talk about the possibility of whether obama can do what bill clinton did after 94 and deal with the republicans, and this is much discussed these days in washington. there's a strong argument at least on paper to say it would be great for obama for the republicans to take over the congress because it's a foil to work against and it would allow him to try ang giew late. there's strong arguments there. i think though one the problems with that in 1994 bill clinton had not passed his agenda and barak obama has. one of the reasons so much of the griping from the left is so whiny and sour-grapey is because obama delivered an enormous
amount to the left already with the health care alone. you would have the things up for negotiation would be what part of your agenda are we going to dismantle? that is a different place for obama to be and problematic for him i think and it would be that we have, you know, all of this jude kateed in the next presidential election. >> one difference is that barak obama has never been beaten by a republican. bill clinton had. bill clinton knew how to bounce back after that kind of defeat. if the republicans win this time, the president will have a very steep learning curve. >> not only that, but unlike both bill clinton and jimmy carter former snorts of states, barak obama never had to deal in his lill -- political career with
arguments. it was a 0 factor as being a senator from the south side of chicago. it matters not at all for the election of the illinois senate seat in 2004, so that sort of arsenal of understandings that clinton could bring to the situation in 2004. i don't think it's going to be there. it's going to be harder. >> yes, please, thank you. >> the microphones are there. >> oh, will you please speak into the microphone? >> sure. you made a case at the historical level that this may be a landslide year for republicans, but i'd like to ask you to address the local or microlevel because each of these 435 elections are really individual lengses as well as the senate elections, and they may have local issues may have
an impact as opposed to just the national what you all seem to have solidified in favor of the republicans. >> you know all 435? >> yeah. >> in order start with -- [laughter] >> i think that's a good point, but i guess what i would say is this. every congressional election is always a combination of the national level plus the local things. the local things are local issues and they are the specific candidates because people as the democrats point out today voters don't vote for a party on the ballot but vote for a candidate versus another candidate. you have to have good candidates. the republicans have had good candidate recruitment, but there's some seats where they may not win seats that they would have won because when
people are making their decisions about whether to run, the conditions weren't as favorable as they are now and there wasn't the candidates coming forward. what tends to happen is that the importance of the local factors and the importance of the national factors work against each other. the more important the national factors are to voters, the more they are willing to set aside local things. if there's no overriding national concern or issue, then the local factors are important. there are elections like that. 1990 was an election like that where there really wasn't an overwhelming single national issue or a set of national issues. the budget agreement was just signed and there was republicans upset about that and we had troops in saudi arabia waiting
to see what was going to happen there, but in a lot of ways it was a much less nationalizeized election and those were thought out district by district and a few incumbents lost and they were all incumbents with scandals, and so that's a race where there was no national thing going on which was not enough to override local concerns. this is a national election. there are cases where local issues override national issues, but fewer than under other sorts of circumstances. >> there was the virginia election -- >> right. >> i mean, -- >> oh, just now? >> yeah, just now, yeah, right. >> the republicans lost because it was purely a nationally thing than addressing the local concerns. >> that's a good teaching moment for republicans also. >> yeah the democratic candidate was not an incumbent and that was the advantage and he ran
against the health care reform. >> right. >> he was in a unique situation and in a spot where democratic candidates opened seats were a few dts voted against health care can improve their situation by focusing on the local things. it's not a strategy that most democrats will follow. >> if you look at the seat-by-seat polls, they are running in tandem with the aggregate numbers. there are a lot of democrats in trouble who didn't expect to be in trouble a short time ago. close to claremont in orange county is running even with her aopponent. they were smar where a member of the assembly has a strong local ethnic appeal. >> dennis?
>> this will be a question for jonah and anybody else who wants to comment. >> i'm curious what you think what the predictions there's another 30 years of progressivism, what is it that was so different about the new deal and that the period from 32 to 36 that allowed roosevelt and the new deal to be popular to continue for a long time compared to where obama and the democrats are today. that's to say it seems like the same kind of rhetoric, very similar kinds of programs, a little bit further on. 1936 the employment rate was very high. it has not come down all that much, national debt was rising, there was a lot of deficit spending. what has been the difference between that and now that caused this to be so unpopular from the
very beginning? >> it's a great question and i'm sure others have better answers, but i think part of it is just simply someone was saying earlier about how the republicans had a disadvantage because people remember what it's like to have republican as a mar seniority. there's the school of mankind and he will learn at no other. in 1932, we really and william was great on this stuff, we didn't have anything we could call a state in the sense of european style big state. wilson tried to create one, but in the scope into society wasn't as nearly as large. we now have had 70 to 80 years of ever-growing state. so, there's the simple problem is that i love how democrats are talking about how they're a party of new ideas, but there's a cargo cult of an
administration from 1932. a lot of this doesn't seem like new ideas to voters because the education effect from the boom and part of it is the purr sweysive power of the new big state enterprises. it's been tried before. i don't think it works as well. this was a huge, going back to the stimulus. this was a huge blown opportunity by obama because i think he could have had a massive stimulus that still spent money on all sorts of things, but it could have been structured in a way that didn't seem like it was rewarding the old in congress. instead of stimulating new ideas it was a featherbedding and placating what people with old ideas and old wish lists had. if you want to send the signal we were going to try something new, maybe they could have done that with that huge pool of
because most americans now -- it's about dang. and americans realize the per capita gdp in france's something like 30% lower than it is in the united states and they don't see that it's going towards progress. >> professor lowenstein. >> yeah, six to 12 months ago i think there was a fair amount of comment in the conservative press that his health care reform passed, it was going to be a kind of a tipping point and have very severe, long-term is in terms of putting -- first of all a lot of people on their professional lives in the health care industry and secondly ordinary people in terms of their health care into the government in a way that would make it very hard for them to withdraw and would make it very hard for conservatives and conservative governments really
to compete lyrically. now, and if the get control, they can repeal health care reform. they can decline to find it. i think these are going to be very, very tricky waters. and if they do try to repeal it or just throw a monkeywrench into the machinery, i don't think anybody can predict how the politics of that will play out. jonah goldberg said semi-facetiously history doesn't say they will do a very good job of this. i really don't think it indicates they will do a very good job of it. i agree, as some of your site, but obama severely ticketing to play the, but so too the republicans. and just one other gloomy thing. there are some long-term demographics that are difficult for republicans. an increase in the alert drift of hispanic voters, dwindling of
the sword of reagan democrat part of the -- you know, demographics and the population. maybe a young cold war that is permanently more liberal than the population as a whole. so i guess it just seems to me from the standpoint of republicans, this has been a very optimistic and all. but it does seem to me if you look down the road, there are some real difficulties. >> i think the advantage of the health care debate, which i think actually is two really good advantage right now is they made a mistake of plena out over time which say there is a window that's been implemented. that window is not close to your the fact that their numbers increasingly going against the entrance of popular opinion give them some running room. the fact that we now are
debating it through the 2012 presidential election could work to their advantage as well. a lot of the most onerous aspects of the go command prior to a lot of its benefits. a lot of the taxes taken prior to its benefits. and so actually, pleased to their advantage. i think what is the key things is their first legislation has to be on that issue because come you know, if there is an issue around which you can kind of rally and build a consensus, it has to be what is your alternative to that? there are a lot of good ideas out there. i think a good plan can be constructed. reform -- excuse me, d. fun for one thought they were pleased with some other much more friendly to a decentralized system. there is a great state fans out there, including the state plans put together by governors who are probably going to run for
president. so i mean, it's always the fact that when you're in the moment they are increasingly divisive and increasingly close. but the advantage of them because you have to make the hard decision. so i honestly see that as a bad situation. in terms of the longer-term demographics, the one thing i would just remind us is that you need to make arguments to people. i mean, if you look for instance at the youth in words and tracking and a lot of various polls have been talking about, it's following the same pattern. the youth vote is not locked into the on administration. it was not aligned to obama. it might've been twittered to it so to speak, but there wasn't an alignment. that i see is more of an opportunity than a problem. i think one of his biggest failures will be to have not locked in that demographic will be highly disappointed. over the next several years. >> yes, please. [inaudible]
>> earlier this year there was, at least in the media, a strong narrative about this anti-incumbent seat fantasy and how the first part of the year that didn't play out in the primaries and just sort of like how these numbers are changing, the numbers you saw in the beginning how you really think that's going to play out in the upcoming election. >> well, the one safeguards is that the vast majority of incumbents are going to win reelection. we know that right now. even in a quote unquote anti-incumbent here come a great majority of incumbents win reelection. the question is whether that number is north of 90% or whether it's more like 85%, 80% come even something like 80% or 75% in a house, that is huge. that is enormous. that will lead to a historic change house of representatives. so incumbents retain considerable advantages. and i think sometimes the press overinterpret individual races.
one incumbent wins renomination. so much for anti-incumbency. but that is really a very narrow interpretation about the phenomenon is. what it really means is that incumbents are winning by much smaller percentages than they usually went by and a much higher percentage will lose even though a majority of them are going to win. >> will just add one want into that tonight and that is the incumbent is going to be very, very risk reverse. and so if there can be identified in the operation of congress and the behavior of procedural members, even if they don't lose, if they go from 60% to 55% and there will be quite a few who will lose and are probably quite a few to go from 60% to 55% and it will be interesting to see how much that changes their outlook. >> paul. [inaudible] >> postmortem. you know when you're in trouble
if they start writing your obituary already. and there seem to be two narratives that i've noticed. bill colston's account and then john judith, which is the democrats are in trouble because obama wasn't partisan enough in the paul krugman view that the stimulus needed to be twice what it was in the debt twice what it was and would be just fine. do you know anything more about the manner in which the democrats and the liberals are beginning to assimilate what looks like a historic feat for them? >> well, as peter winter was arguing in commentary at day or two ago, sort of the last rocks you check when you're looking for an explanation for some unpleasant electoral result is maybe we were wrong about some of these things. [laughter] and actually, it's a two-part
name. there is -- are all familiar with the nikkei coast close the howl of rage fallacy named after the former editor of "the new york times," the howell raines fallacy is if you convince yourself that x is a good idea, then there's no distinction between that and also convincing yourself that an overwhelming majority of the american people are in favor of that particular good idea. so if there's a sense -- a gathering sense that electoral rebuke is an the op-ed, then people sort of, you know step back and say well, since there can't be anything wrong with their ideas and since the american people must really, really deep down want what we've been telling them and for some reason for not closing the deal yet probably the sales man who isn't what he was cracked up to be. and there are, you know, michael
tenacity on his blog listed a whole bunch of reasons as possible explanations for answers to the question, how is it that the obama team seems so surefooted in the 22 months leading up to the november 2008 election and so much less adroit sense that. and they're going to be many speculations upon this. i thought the most interesting of the possibilities he offered was that perhaps the obama campaign was never really quite as simple as it seemed. that it inherited its good results of the result of the bad efforts by hillary clinton and john mccain. so it really only need to be the best of the three campaigns and that wasn't setting the bar very high. >> in the bush administration. >> and the bush administration. >> i want to add onto that last point and then maybe one other point. the most telling electrode results in the democratic primaries with the iowa caucuses
were the winners came in in exact inverse order to their experience. obama won, edwards came in second, hillary third and then all the old dinosaur coming in though, chris dodd and richards fan and all those guys trailed up behind. and i was assigned this is going to be a major change election. and one of the things i think people don't appreciate is a big chunk of the tea parties motivations is a delayed backlash against the bush administration. and it feeds into this narrative, you know in a way sort of the libertarian case about how there was more continuity between hoover and fdr then there was a break. there's a lot of people on the right, whether they're correct or not is a different debate to believe there is more continuity during compassionate conservatism and change you can believe in. and when they want to say to hell with all of that. i think it into the question about the argument on the left, it is very hard to disentangle
that stuff right now he can so many people musters it deeply, deeply invested in proving that the keynesian theory of how to get out of this thing is perfect. in their argument will be, you know, whenever a lobbyist and in washington hospice maxim, you know, when it rains, dance, you know, could you can take credit for it. eventually the economy will come round and they will see a hawk, see, the stimulus worked. and until the data becomes refutable one way or the other about the economy, you're going to have a lot of noise in the debate on the left about who is to blame. [applause] >> yes, please. >> one other thing that struck me about the difference between 94 and twice 10, i don't remember that in 1994 there was a force that laid the tea party
movement, that nominated some candidates that took what looked to be winnable, easily winnable republican races and turns them into a very close races. i'm thinking particularly sharon hingle in nevada, randy paul is up a little bit, but had they nominated trey grayson should be up by 20 points there now. i mean, does that -- how much does that lower the number of seats republicans are likely to pick up this time click >> may be less than you think. one analogy here that others have is 1980. if you'd like some of the republican senators who were like today in 1880, these were not the sharpest knives in the drawer. and you had paula harkins of florida whose initial splash in
washington was a denunciation of food stamps held at a luncheon in which she serves steak. this is someone who wasn't clear on the concept of the site is public relations. so it wasn't surprising that six years later you had a number of republican senators go down. so we've can wash up a lot of people on the shore. i just want to interject one thing, just in historical counterfactual for everybody to think about. suppose something had happened and i'm sorry, john mccain had actually won in 2008. what kind of election could be facing today? i don't think anyone can seriously argue that the economy would be substantially better if john mccain had won. so we be talking about john mccain, a rotten economy and in this counterfactual world, i bet we'd be talking about speculation about the absolute demise of the republican party.
so if things work out as forecast, i think every republican in the country should send a thank you card to barack obama. >> i think i just want to comment on the tea party. i think at some time is consumed at the tea party something separate from the other institutions of the conservatism or broadly the republican party in particular. particularly some of the cases we point to which are perhaps outliers. i'm thinking of other cases where you've had republican incumbent loses the primaries, which are very significant or interesting enough, made them very close to the majority leader and senate. but that's going to bring a lot of it is the estimate turnout to republican primaries that will happen and a lot of other places, which were not really talking about because there's not an identified high-profile tea party candidate. so it's the general effect of it i think is extremely important, very different from, you know,
94, even prior to that. >> yeah, a lot of the candidates that right now people are thinking -- are stumblebum skin turn out to be very effective legislatures. i'm thinking my old, al d'amato. he was regarded as first is a one term wonder elected in a fluky three-way election and he was able to hang on for three terms in a very tough republic. [inaudible] >> sure you do. zero [laughter] >> that may partly poke up on a comet professor lowenstein was making. the whole question of demographics in the future of the republican party. obviously, one of the major difficulties i see as i don't see that the republicans managed to effectively translate their message to the black and hispanic ovulation of the united
states. i also think that one of the long-term problems that the republicans have, you indicate greater support in polling data for the conservative position rather than liberal positions. and yet, the question is how often does that gap translate into republican votes? if he were to poll, for example, most african-americans on issues like gay marriage or abortion or prayer in school. you say my goodness this is a conservative population. yes, conservative population of those 90% democrat. he was the similar results if you were to pull hispanic, which is a problem. another problem is the republican party needs a left wing, you know, which may seem anathema to people in the audience who are conservatives. the traditional liberal to
moderate republicans is a vanishing species, but you haven't found a way of doing what i think the republican party ultimately needs to do, which is to get a different left-wing and somehow trade christie todd whitman for bob casey senior, or people like the late rob casey senior. yeah -- [laughter] that is, you have to decide, do you want either the people who are economically conservative and culturally liberal as the left wing of the republican party, or do you want people who are going to reverse? i'm not sure in the long run -- you could win without choosing one group or another. you certainly are going to be able to be a national party there's whole areas of the country where if you don't have one of those groups, you're not
going to be competitive as the party. >> my 2 cents worth. >> each given a very nice case about to do with it at the same time in u.s. the question. i mean, i think what's interesting about this period, not that this election is going to solve other problems. they've now got an opportunity to build something going forward. and i think any of the demographics, given the types of things you've observed in terms of the opinion of a lot of these groups, hispanics the same way. mean out of balance. the key thing about this election is that what happens before, what happens before, what is their agenda look like? what is it set up for 2012? how did they put something together based on that? i see the republicans have a window. they don't successfully had to get to that window, not only with the demographics again, but there's a lot of people i think
a third were sufficiently disaffected that they're not going to stay republicans either, then i go someplace else. having said that, i mean, i think the republican party, especially if you look at the senators heard main, there will even be with their increased numbers, there will be more liberal republicans, especially in the senate in insufficient number that that's going to have a pretty good effect on republican city to craft their own agenda. if you want to -- >> yeah, i don't want to agree -- i was making a negative case that things aren't as great as a lot of liberal thoughts. i think things aren't as good as a lot of republicans think either. you know, want to get them, a lot of this is policy contingent. it depends on whether or not he deserved to stay in power. i don't know mary vinny conservatives who don't think the republicans didn't deserve to get kicked out. the problem of the two-party system is when you set one throw
the bums out with a two set the other wrote ones in. that said, i think some of the demographic things are fixable in turn of the young. irving kristol used to love to say there is nothing wrong with this country at a really severe recession won't fix. and he may be wrong. he may have been run a little bit, but at the same time when you see a lot of the sort of affluence of young people and their expectations about liberalism for based upon certain assumptions about how the economy works good with the unemployed among young people keep looking to see a lot of young people saying he would a second, this is not the way to go. in terms of minorities and getting out of the sort of solid but republican party, i would love to see it section of republican party. i don't see that many times in anything if someone was the republican party if it were smart wouldn't spend that much time trying to affect that.
[inaudible] >> well now, baby steps, right? you go where you have the most chance of persuading people. and i would start with indian americans and b. and these americans and other asian-american and then something for the long-term process to the gop is the republican party needs to figure out a way to reclaim some of the immigrant narrative, writes? has right now against illegal immigration mr. against immigrants and that is employed for the republican party and republican party needs to figure how to work on latinos better than it does. so i agree there is really important long-term challenges, but you can't even get to address any of them unless you have something election in the midterm elections and a looks like the republicans are going to have that. >> yes, i have a question. i believe that we really haven't seen any real realignment in american politics for many
decades. that's not really far out there. and people like rita serena would've argued that the floor sort of like quiet during that -- i mean, during the 2000 then i heard them coming and making a comeback right after the 2008 questions for the ride was delayed by a few years, but the democratic majority share, that's probably got quiet again. but i think we don't really have any reason to think that either party should expect a lasting and permanent reassignment anytime soon or they can rest on their laurels and have a generation or so to carry out their policies. if the republicans who i think are very well-positioned for next year run the danger of just mousing out a bunch of policy proposals that might be very good if they actually happen, but that will just be tribals that don't go anywhere and give the democrats may be a talking
point. so assuming that no realignment has to have to know will happen and that independence will probably continue to be a very substantial growing bloc, showed republicans throwing up on that point, bush agreed to look into patiently consistently starting in january to assemble something more long-term? programmatic answer policies. what sort of policies should they focus on if they want to build something long-term? >> first, let me comment on your premise and clarify what i meant. i think the argument of a permanent majority one way or the other is proven not to be the case and historically that was over reading of what was meant by that. however, i think what's interesting about this moment is your having a large movement of opinions. on the right, but also among the independents who are moving to the right and historic and relatively speaking rapid pace.
based on some ideas that really cut to the foundations of what politics is about. if that movement happens in a way that they kind of locks in a certain opinion about government, about politics, about what's going on, about not wanting to become europe, writes? that is a form of a modern realignment of sorts. it's not necessarily the 1936 fdr coalition, but it's an opening that i think the conservatives and republican party as the other bamba party has to keep in mind. but in order to do that, they've got to figure out a way to speak to those individuals, writes? who are clinging to these old ideas in a way that defines policies that would help them get there, given the fact that a lot of other americans,
especially the broad middle are not necessarily there yet. i think that one of their first opportunities is going to be health care. i think the budget debate will be one of the first big debates will have. and i think i want everything to do in terms of policy wise will be set at for other things down the road. are going to be small stansted going to be incremental steps, but they've got to figure out where this kind of the low-hanging fruit, what are the pieces they can do which logically suggests they are going in a certain direction that got to be a lot to figure out rhetorically and intellectually how they can convince the american people to come with them. and i don't see -- [inaudible] >> i think foreign policy is a part of that, but foreign-policy think naturally placed to their strength. i think is been proven very difficult for the left take that back. and i think that becomes a piece of it as well.
i think the instincts of the american people about national security are very strong. i mean, i think one of the most interesting pieces of that is that the tea party movement, which was supposedly kind of the libertarian movement started talking more about foreign policy in some major television commentators, including some friends of ours, kind of a libertarian foreign policy. but died off very quickly. that's not where these people want to go. they are strong on foreign policy. [inaudible] >> yeah, and so that instinct that it is kind of a natural component authority there. >> we have time for my questions and then our session will be over. yes, please. >> just to follow up and see what all of you think about this. this congress and president has the largest expansion throughout history that we've had since the 1960's. i think the legislation is probably the worst conceived
major piece of legislation congress has ever passed. so something is sure to be done. [laughter] but assuming gop controlled congress and, you know, between 2012, what will replace it? both paul ryan and mccain in 2008 proposed plans, which accepted government responsibility. i mean, ultimately responsible for health care so-called tax credits, which are really affecting people whether they pack taxes or not. some of the gop now expected this ratcheting up of dependency depends on the government or what we students call soft despotism. and if so, i think that's a shame because it seems as though the majority of the american people are not, you know, are not eager for that ratcheting up or down. >> mns